Does It Matter Where the Tomato Originates?

By: Whitney Fung   Dell De Chant  

In the past decade, food insecurity funding has surged to support projects in urban agriculture, emergency food assistance, local farmer’s markets, community gardens, and nutrition education. These efforts are a response to the alarming rates of food insecurity in the United States - in 2016, 12.3% of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during the year. Concurrent with the increase in funding has been an increase in academic attention given to the subject. Curiously, neither increased funding nor increased academic attention appear to have mitigated the problem of food insecurity, with insecurity rates showing little change over the past two decades. This paper offers a critical analysis of responses to food insecurity based on a review of approaches used in the public sector and in professional research. The analysis will be supported with a case study using secondary data from the Tampa Bay region. We explore limitations in efforts to reduce food insecurity rooted in the lack of recognition of the broader cultural context of the issue. We will assess the persistence of food insecurity as a cultural issue, current approaches to tackle this problem, and limitations of existing research. Finally, we advance recommendations for interdisciplinary approaches offering a more comprehensive engagement with the issue and a more holistic response to promoting food security.

Food Insecurity, Food Sovereignty, Local Foods Movement, Interdisciplinary, Culture, Policy
Food, Politics, and Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Whitney Fung

Doctoral Student and Research Assistant , Community and Family Health , University of South Florida, United States
United States

Dell De Chant

Associate Chair and Master Instructor, Religious Studies , University of South Florida , United States
-, United States